Employees of IT consulting firm Cognizant have participated in an innovative gifting programme that brought smiles to more than 16,000 students in over 100 schools across India. Called 'Little Gifts,' the programme was carried out under Cognizant's employee-led social initiative, Cognizant Outreach.
As part of the programme, children from schools and orphanages adopted by Outreach, including 500 children from tribal areas in Coimbatore, were asked to name the gift they wished to receive in the New Year. Cognizant employees were then invited to support gifts of their choice using an online application. Well over 8,000 Cognizant employees participated in the campaign. Subsequently, the gifts on the children's wish-list were procured and given to the children.
Outreach volunteers oversaw the entire process of collecting and wrapping the gifts, sorting them based on identification numbers, and handing them over to the children in the first month of the New Year. The gifts ranged from stationery, toys, sports items, jewelry, and apparel, to board games, watches, video games and books.
"It was a massive effort to make sure that such a large number of gifts reached the correct recipients across schools. Cognizant employees across India clocked in more than 4,000 volunteering hours to make this possible. Over 1,000 employees participated in the gift distribution process alone," said Kartheeban Chandramohan, Outreach coordinator for the 'Little Gifts' programme.